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The youth heed President’s call, but…

The youth heed President’s call, but…

Staff Reporter

WHEN in 2021, President Hage Geingob urged young people to use their skills to innovate and create jobs rather than depending on the government for employment, he was utterly criticized by some. However, many young people have heeded his call by embarking upon a variety of ventures that generate income for themselves and create employment opportunities for others.

Informante spoke with some of them, who were unanimous in saying that their new ventures have improved their living conditions, but there are two challenges, namely “the unreasonable restrictions imposed by local authorities, and the lack of government assistance”.

Johannes waShinana manufactures and sells wooden beds but says he needs assistance to be able to expand the business and employ other youths. “Our repeated pleas to both the Ohangwena Regional Council and the town council of Helao Nafidi apparently fell on deaf ears,” he said.

He said the situation is made worse by the constant “harassment” by police officers and town council-contracted security guards who allegedly confiscate or even destroy the merchandise of vendors who conduct business at places where they are not permitted. “When I sell my beds along the road, for example, it is not because I want to violate the rules, but because I am determined to make a living,” he said.

Diina Simon, a student at Unam’s Ogongo Campus who is struggling to pay for her studies, said she too is contemplating becoming a street vendor but is worried about what appears to be a constant harassment of street vendors by the police and security guards.

She said that her father died when she was three years old, and her mother and her guardians are all unemployed.

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